by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
On Sunday night, World Extreme Cagefighting will make their national TV debut on the Versus network as they present a live two-hour fight card from The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. Prior to the live show, Versus will air a one-hour WEC highlight program showcasing both John Alessio and Brock Larson, who are featured fighters on the WEC 28 undercard.
In this first of a two-part preview on the WEC 28, Ricardo Mendoza breaks down the non-televised undercard, which features much of the rising talent in the WEC. Highlighting the undercard are bouts featuring John Alessio and Brock Larson.
JEFF BEDARD VS. MIKE FRENCH
Jeff Bedard makes his WEC debut taking on Midwest fighter Mike French. Bedard has an 8-0 record in MMA and trains out of American Kickboxing Academy with Josh “The Punk” Thomson. French has a 7-8 record in MMA and trains out of Team Extreme with Clay French. Bedard last saw action at Full Throttle 8, submitting Dom Bjerke. French comes off a disappointing decision loss to Antonio Banuelos at WEC 25.
Plain and simple, it’s a little surprising that Mike French keeps getting an opportunity to fight in a big show, although he is tough as nails and always comes to fight. Bedard has a storied career in wrestling having won numerous wrestling titles and being a former member of the US National Wrestling team. This is primarily a showcase fight for Bedard as he makes his way into the crowded WEC bantamweight division. Bedard is simply on another level and should make this a quick fight.
Prediction: Jeff Bedard by TKO in the first round.
BRIAN BOWLES VS. CHARLIE VALENCIA
Hardcore Gym fighter Brian Bowles squares off against former King of the Cage Featherweight Champion Charlie Valencia. Bowles has a 3-0 record in MMA and trains out of the Hardcore Gym with Rory Singer. Valencia has an 8-2 record in MMA and trains out of Submission Factory with Joe Camacho. Bowles recently submitted Shane Weinischke at Invasion. Valencia comes off a stoppage victory over Antonio Banuelos at WEC 26.
In what seems another showcase fight, Valencia will look to build momentum off his surprising victory over Banuelos and put himself in line for a shot at the WEC Bantamweight Championship. Bowles is a young and unknown fighter, which works to his advantage since Valencia more then likely doesn’t know much about him. Although Bowles has nothing to lose, his inexperience will catch up with him here, as Valencia should be able to stop him within the distance.
Prediction: Charlie Valencia by TKO in the second round.
MICAH MILLER VS. CUB SWANSON
In a battle of up and coming featherweights, Micah Miller meets King of the Cage veteran Cub Swanson. Miller has a 7-0 record in MMA and trains out of the American Top Team with Cole Miller. Swanson has a 10-1 record in MMA and trains out of Joe Moreira BJJ with Joe Moreira. Miller looked impressive at WEC 26, submitting the previously undefeated Jesse Moreng. Swanson made quick work of Tommy Lee at WEC 26, submitting him with a guillotine choke.
This has fight of the night written all over it. I had the pleasure of seeing both fighters in action at WEC 26 and neither disappointed, nor should they on Sunday night. Both guys are the future of the WEC Featherweight division and the winner will only move closer to a shot at the title. Miller is going to have a distinct reach advantage over Swanson, which he should exploit in the clinch like he did in his previous fight. Swanson will look to take it to the ground and work ground and pound from the top. This is a hard fight to predict as both fighters are evenly matched up but the edge has to go to Miller just because of the reach advantage that he has and the problems that it could offer Swanson. In a close exciting fight, Miller should eek out a decision over Swanson.
Prediction: Micah Miller by decision.
ALEX SERDYUKOV VS. JOHN ALESSIO
In a rematch of their classic fight at WEC 23, Alex Serdyukov and John Alessio tangle in the cage once again. Serdyukov has a 5-3 record in MMA and trains out of Jake Shields Fight Team with Jake Shields. Alessio has an 18-10 record in MMA and trains out of Millenia Jiu-Jitsu with Manny Tapia. Serdyukov comes off a much needed submission victory over Scott Norton at WEC 26. On the same card, current WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit defeated Alessio by submission for the title.
Here is another fight that a lot of people are looking forward to, if this fight at all resembles their first fight then we are in for a treat. Their first encounter was a back and forth war as they traded on their feet and showed some slick groundwork. What ultimately made the difference in the fight was conditioning as Serdyukov was tired and got sloppy on his feet, which led to him eventually losing the fight. The difference in this fight from their first is that Serdyukov should come in better shape than he did the first time around. Again this is going to be a close fight, but I believe that Serdyukov learned from his mistakes and will come out on top.
Prediction: Alex Serdyukov by decision.
BROCK LARSON VS. KEVIN KNABJIAN
UFC veteran Brock Larson takes on late replacement Kevin Knabjian. Larson has a 20-1 record in MMA and trains out of Minnesota with Logan Clark. Knabjian has a 6-2-1 record in MMA and trains out of Hellhouse with Clay Guida. Larson comes off a submission victory over Erik Apple at WEC 26. Knabjian stopped Jedzrzej Kubski with strikes at IMMAC 2.
Larson was originally scheduled to face WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit in the main event, but Condit was forced to withdraw due to injury. Larson now faces Knabjian on short notice. Knabjian is a tough wrestler but may be in over his head in his WEC debut. Larson will be looking to make a statement in order to maintain his shot at the WEC Welterweight title and should be able to take care of business quickly. Knabjian will no doubt put up a decent fight, but he will eventually succumb to Larson.
Prediction: Brock Larson by TKO in the second round.